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Spotlight on SIGGRAPH: S3 Provides the Tools for Success

SIGGRAPH 2014 job fair.
Students visit the job fair at SIGGRAPH 2014. Photo by John M. Fujii, Copyright © 2014 ACM SIGGRAPH.
15 Dec 2014
By Deja Collins, in collaboration with S3 Chair Corinne Price

Editor's note: Spotlight on SIGGRAPH is a recurring feature, established to shed light on the various committees and avenues of volunteering within ACM SIGGRAPH and its annual conferences.

Established in 2007, the SIGGRAPH Student Services, colloquially known as S3, is an ACM SIGGRAPH committee whose primary mission is to provide additional value to the student members of ACM SIGGRAPH. The Student Services Committee also maintains continuity and institutional memory for the student volunteer and intern programs at SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia, and collaborates with other SIGGRAPH entities (conferences, committees, etc.) on issues that affect student members. S3 currently offers (and is in the process of expanding) three key programs: resume and reel reviews, mentoring for ACM SIGGRAPH student members (known as "Mentor Me"), and a series of webinars and talks.

S3’s flagship program is a resume and reel review service known as "S3R3." S3 understands that resumes and reels are a constant source of confusion and frustration for students and new graduates, and aims to remove some of the guesswork by providing professional advice and opinions to ACM SIGGRAPH student members. Students are matched to industry professionals based on their desired work field and job skills, and provide the resume and/or reel for review and expert advice. S3R3 is offered on-site during both the SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia conferences, as well as being offered virtually throughout the year. Below are the profiles of three prominent S3R3 reviewers: Patrick Coan, Murad Currawalla and Vince De Quattro.

Patrick Coan: Coan holds a Bachelor's of Science in IT-Multimedia Digital Entertainment and Game Design from ITT Technical Institute and works as a production artist in the field of interactive entertainment. He has freelanced as a web designer, game character designer and animator for film. Some of his credits include lead animation in "Madstreak," character and environment art direction for "Infinite Shooter," and design work for the Cascade chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH.

Murad Currawall: Motion graphics artist Murad Currawalla holda a BFA in Digital Media from the Otis College of Art and Design, and a Bachelor of Commerce from HR College of Commerce and Economics. Currawalla has professional experience in animation, compositing and rotoscoping. Additionally, he owns a VFX (visual effects) venture in Mumbai, India. Known as The CG Lab, the business has worked on music videos, commercials, and graphic design (just to name a few).

Vince De Quattro: For the majority of his career, De Quattro was a Technical Director for Industrial Light and Magic, working on five Academy-Award-nominated films ("Star Wars" Episodes I & II, "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Mighty Joe Young" and "Pearl Harbor"). Prior to ILM, De Quattro was a technical director and animator for Warner Brothers Digital Studios, Robert Greenberg Studios LA and Sony High Definition Television Center in Culver City. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and a Master's degree in Computer Animation in Film from the University of Southern California.

S3 is in the process of expanding its one-on-one mentoring program, Mentor Me. Mentor Me matches students with professionals who have agreed to offer guidance and insight into their respective fields. The mentor sessions are conducted by email, phone, and in some cases -- face-to-face chats, which is typically during the SIGGRAPH or SIGGRAPH Asia conferences when the community comes together. S3's hope is that these mentorships turn into long-lasting professional connections for the members. To date, S3 has been able to match Student Volunteers (SVs) from the SIGGRAPH conferences, but is planning to expand to all interested ACM SIGGRAPH student members during the year.

S3’s final offering is a series of informative webinars and talks that offer advice, tips and insight on everything from careers to technical knowledge. The webinars are conducted throughout the year, which allows many to benefit from the wisdom of the high-profile speakers and mentors. Previous sessions have covered topics such as making the most of attending the SIGGRAPH conference, and unlocking information about iOS game development, animation, and digital media.

Student volunteers at SIGGRAPH 2014

Student Volunteers hard at work at SIGGRAPH 2014. Photo by John M. Fujii, Copyright © 2014 ACM SIGGRAPH.

Beyond its student programs, S3 also maintains the body of knowledge for the Student Volunteer program in the form of the Student Volunteers Chair Handbook. As ACM SIGGRAPH continues to expand and provide more conferences abroad, such as SIGGRAPH Asia, there is occasionally the need to create Student Volunteer committees, as seen in the main SIGGRAPH conference. When this need arises, the S3’s year round committee helps provide the background of support and provides institutional knowledge on how to get set up. This year, S3 provided on-site support to the SIGGRAPH Asia Student Volunteer program, and headed up SIGGRAPH Asia versions of S3R3 and Mentor Me for student members at the conference.

SIGGRAPH Student Services operates year-round, and strives to provide professional assistance for all ACM SIGGRAPH student members. S3 Chair Corinne Price welcomes suggestions from the community on potential additional benefits. "As S3 continues to grow and expand our offerings," she said, "we are always seeking input from student members and professionals throughout the community to know what services will most benefit you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or one of the committee members if you have a great idea or something you would like to see.”

Through the programs S3 offers, student members receive valuable insight and critiques from industry experts, which equips them with many necessary tools for success in their occupational pursuits.

If you would like to express interest in volunteering on the S3 committee, please fill out the ACM SIGGRAPH volunteer form. If you would like to volunteer to be a mentor, reel reviewer or assist the committee in any other capacity, please contact the Student Services Chair directly.